Predicting Antigenic Distance from Genetic Data for PRRSV-Type 1

Today, we are sharing a new publication from the VanderWaal research lab at the UMN. In this article published in Microbiology Spectrum, Dr. Dennis Makau et al. estimated the likelihood of serum-virus cross-protection between PRRSV-1 viruses and identified important amino acid sites influencing antigenic variability between viruses. Additionally, they investigated how differences in those amino acid sites contributes to the antigenic variability between the viral isolates.

IMPORTANCE Understanding cross-protection between cocirculating PRRSV1 strains is crucial to reducing losses associated with PRRS outbreaks on farms. While experimental studies to determine cross-protection are instrumental, these in vivo studies are not always practical or timely for the many cocirculating and emerging PRRSV strains. In this study, we demonstrate the ability to rapidly estimate potential immunologic cross-reaction between different PRRSV1 strains in silico using sequence data routinely collected by production systems. These models can provide fast turn-around information crucial for improving PRRS management decisions such as selecting vaccines/live virus inoculation to be used on farms and assessing the risk of outbreaks by emerging strains on farms previously exposed to certain PRRSV strains and vaccine development among others.

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Forecasting PEDv in the US through the use of machine learning

This week, Dr. Kim VanderWaal and her team share an update on a highly anticipated project regarding the forecast of PEDv in the United States.

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